Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Re-igniting Fires! Stories come from experience!

Last night’s PPA Class was a great experience.
It re-ignited a fire in me that has been sitting on the back burner for far too long. By interviewing Evan and seeing him begin to examine the journeys he’s been on, it reminded me how the process of storytelling has been so rewarding to me. It was great to witness his hesitation, and it was wonderful to be able to spur him on and let him know there are people who would want to know his story.  If he writes, even a little bit, the way he talks, I know I’d want to read more! He comes across as witty, thoughtful, articulate, and humble, and I bet his stories would be captivating. I wanted to know more, I wanted to ask more questions, I was just like all the people who used to pull stories out of me.
As I was driving home from class, I began to talk to myself. I spoke out load and with confidence; telling my story as if I was sharing an adventure, the way I’ve done so many times while on planes, on trails, in campers cabins, and in communal kitchens. I’ve always had a knack of drawing people in while sharing my adventures. It always surprises me when people ask me to continue with my stories. “Tell me more…then what happened?” and “Did you ever see him again?” are questions I’ve heard so many times. Even when I’ve exhausted myself, and think there’s no way this person wants me to keep babbling about airplane sized mosquitoes, trench foot, and water spouts, they continue to ask for more.
The fascination in people’s eyes when I would tell them about where I had been, where I was going, and why I was on my way, would fuel me. The look on my captive audience’s face was so similar to the eyes of people who I used to hypnotize with my body, my movements, my ability, while I was a dancer. 
There is something so powerful, humbling and exciting about being able to transport a person to places where I’ve been. Stories come from experience; my experiences have all been adventures, my adventures have all contained personal epiphanies, and all of my personal epiphanies have coincided with my wilderness adventures.
This PPA Class comes as I’m embarking on several journeys. Journey #1: I’m jumping back on the trail, of formal education, that I left a long time ago. No one ever gave me a map. I had no idea where to purchase one, but thankfully I have found my way back, thanks to much inquiry, and by surrounding myself with productive and supportive people. Journey #2: I am trying to recover from the loss of my most recent identity of being a Business Owner, after losing my fitness studio to a fire in May. This event spurred me on to pursue the LEAP Program. I had been on the fence about pursuing it, out of fear of my ability, or lack of ability, to succeed in a Formal Education program. Journey #3: Taking a Hike! I need to disappear in order to find myself. Anytime I’ve ever been on the brink of a new and intimidating personal journey, I’ve made it a point to head out on a physical, solitary adventure. I’ve found these getaways to be so helpful with gaining perspective on my intentions and expectations, and these adventures give me uninterrupted time to really map out a plan of action.
Last night’s class highlighted the fact that all of my adventures, both personal and physical, required a shift in perspective, a testing of my comfort levels, and throwing myself headfirst in to the unknown. It also proved that the process of personal exploration, required during the PPA Class, is really going to be a trip…

Can’t wait! J
-Melissa Adylia Calasanz
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez

Learning Process Paper #2  from PPA LEAP100 Class

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